Manchester sets out ambition to be an accredited national living wage employer

Manchester City Council has outlined its ambition to be accredited as a Living Wage Employer by the Living Wage Foundation (LWF) in a report to the Resources and Governance Scrutiny Committee. (Tues, 18 June 2019).

As one of Manchester’s largest employers, the Council already pays directly employed staff a minimum of £9.51 per hour, which is above the current Real Living Wage of £9 per hour (recommended by the LWF) and well above the statutory National Living Wage (£8.21 per hour).  This is also paid to any agency staff employed by the Council and is recommended to schools’ staff across the city.

The Real Living Wage, which is announced in November each year, is set to closer reflect the cost of living based on a basket of household goods and services.

The Living Wage Foundation offers recognition through an accreditation process for employers that commit to paying the Real Living Wage rates to their directly employed staff and sub-contractors, raising awareness of the importance of paying a fair wage and highlighting those organisations that do.

Manchester has also been working since 2016 to promote the Manchester Living Wage (which is at least equivalent to the Real Living Wage) to its supply chain and contractors, using the influence of the organisation through its procurement to urge all employers to pay at least the Real Living Wage.

A key element of the Council’s new procurement rules also puts a significant weight towards a Social Value commitment by a contractor to be awarded a new contract, demonstrating how they will help improve Manchester and give something back.

Already, the majority of Manchester City Council’s contracts are with suppliers who have committed to paying the Manchester Living Wage. For those contractors who have not yet formally committed to this, the council is working to include a future commitment to paying the Manchester Living Wage as part of any new tender process.  

Research by the Living Wage Foundation shows that paying the Living Wage is not only  good for business and the communities they serve but it also improves staff motivation and wellbeing, as well as helping companies to recruit and retain staff.  

Councillor Carl Ollerhead, Executive Member for Finance and Human Resources said: “The Council is one of the biggest employers in the city and it’s important that we lead by example and give our staff a decent living that will give them the opportunity to live a comfortable and happy life.

“We are seeing more working people in our city unable to make ends meet from one week to the next and this needs to stop. We pay our employees a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work and we want to encourage other employers to do the same to help tackle poverty and create a more equal city.

“Manchester is also leading the way on Social Value - which for me is indelibly linked to fair pay - and we will continue to use our influence to go even further and urge as many other organisations as possible to follow suit, and to show the benefits that this brings to people’s quality of life.”



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